Nice check list with general tips on how and why dogs decide on who is in charge in family groups. When a dog is at the top of the pecking order in a home it is important to look at how the human behavior of family members has given the dog this message. Whether we notice or not, dogs are monitoring our reactions to them. They are looking for “canine-like” behaviors that tells them where they fit in the group pecking order. Dogs (& cats) have a strong need to seek a place in social hierarchies. This is common in all species that live in groups (for safety, food, comfort & bonding). Social hierarchy when respected by the members, minimizes the need to have daily conflict over who gets the best things in life, i.e. the best bed, first choice of food, play time, playmates, toys, or even cuddles from us. Pets will behavior in many ways to find where we say “No” or “Ouch” to figure out there place in the family society. Harder for people to detect are the status seeking behaviors that are “cute” or behaviors that just “do not matter to us”. The desire to test (& re-test) to find social boundaries is normal, regardless of species. Carnivores tend to have stricter social rules with almost “ritual-like” behaviors compared to people. The theory being, that to a carnivore conflict is much more dangerous to life and limb because they have specialized to hunt and kill for a living and can use the same skills to protect their families and home range. People with less powerful bodies and jaws, but bigger brains, are more able to find other creative ways to solve these problems of survival such as finding a new group or moving to a new area to live. In general people tolerate change more readily than our pet carnivores.